Prison 13 is a typical Escape Game scenario: we are locked up in the building. Luckily in a communal cell, because only with intensive teamwork did we manage to escape at the last second. Is this new Escape Room something special?
Bunk beds, barred doors and windows and sparse light from twinkling bulbs – a prison cell and 5 prisoners who feel like the jail buddies Andy Dufresne and Red in the cult film The Shawshank Redemption. Let’s get out of the cramped cell! At the new Prison 13, that means you should bring a little athletic fitness with you and not end up behind bars in a fine suit so as not to wear it out. With the prison scenario, this new Escape Room serves a classic theme for which there are already several Escape Rooms, but it comes up with some special features and consists of far more than just a cell with puzzles.
Is the equipment and atmosphere successful?
How varied, original and coherent are the puzzles and tasks?.
(For whom) is Prison 13 worthwhile?
As always, we answer these questions without spoilers. So you won’t learn anything that will make your prison experience less exciting or surprising.
The provider of Knast 13, Escape Berlin, offers a total of 5 Escape Rooms in its location, all with very different themes.
You want to know if the other Escape Rooms are also worthwhile and what to expect? On Abenteuer Freundschaft you can find our experience report on the Sherlock Holmes Live Escape Game, where classic detective work and puzzle guessing are called for, and on the fun party Escape Room Liquor Store, which is great for Bachelor partys.
Note: Like the last times, we were kindly allowed to test Escape Room Prison 13 for free in order to report about it. However, this experience report is unpaid and its content has not been agreed with the provider. It reflects our honest and independent opinion.
Anika and I have played many Escape Rooms in Berlin on very different topics. Apart from us, 3 of our friends came to the jail, who were also no longer newbies . So we were able to work well together as a quickly established team and split up.
In our opinion, the idealteam size for Prison 13 is 3 to 4 players. This is because it is usually not possible to solve several puzzles at the same time and experience shows that communication works better and faster in smaller teams than in larger ones. Because there is a risk that one of the players has not received information or is still working on a puzzle that the others have already solved. It’s all happened before… 😀
A special feature of this Escape Room, however, is that you can also play it in 2 teams against each other, as the entire cell block with puzzles is available twice! So with a larger group and an even number of players, an Escape Game Battle in Prison 13 is also a tempting option.
Why we are locked up and what kind of prison it is exactly – none of that matters in Prison 13. The focus is less on a detailed story and more on the puzzles and the “prison break” scenario. Only one thing is important: a guard, whom we have bribed, has let us know when the alarm system will go off for exactly one hour – our chance to escape!
Prison cells are usually sparsely furnished. This makes it easier to find our way around at first, because every picture, every cupboard and every pushable button we spot immediately attracts our attention and we examine everything in detail. An important help is also the only advice given to us by our game master: In this Escape Room you also have to climb.
The type of puzzles in Prison 13 is mostly familiar to us from other Escape Rooms: clues lead to a combination of numbers that opens a combination lock, buttons have to be pressed in a certain way, secret compartments have to be discovered and opened.
As the game progresses more and more “action” elements come into play in Prison 13, much like a real prison break presumably. Climbing, crawling, rearranging things and aiming are required. However, these actions are physically feasible for everyone, and the room is also approved for children aged 10 and over. So don’t worry, you don’t have to be prepared for athletic feats.
Every time, we have the ambition to make it this time without any tips, but then time usually runs out. At Escape Berlin, the game master sends you unsolicited tips on a screen if he notices that the team is stuck at a certain point. I didn’t count, but we needed about 3 or 4 tips, because sometimes we were simply at a loss.
In retrospect, we sometimes spent too long on puzzles or tasks that we couldn’t solve at the time and thus lost time. A good piece of advice (not only for this Escape Room): if you get stuck at one point, it’s better to look somewhere else first to make sure you haven’t overlooked something important.
As an imaginary location, a prison offers less room to let off steam in terms of furnishings than, for example, a historical casino, a pharaoh’s tomb or a space shuttle. But what has been made of it here is atmospherically quite convincing.
Do German prisons look like this? Probably not. But that’s not really the point of an Escape Game, it’s more the association with prison. Hard beds without bedding? Check! Gloomy lighting by dim twinkling lights? Check! Cramped atmosphere and (almost) bare walls? Check again! This is also how one imagines the prison where the safecrackers are imprisoned.
Literally only in the very last seconds did we manage to escape! Thank God, my back would not have thanked me for these beds in the long run… 😀
Climbing, crawling, grabbing and using your brain: You always have to do the latter in Escape Games, but physical activity is only required in a few. This makes Prison 13 a special exit game and polishes up the very classic prison scenario to a recommendable escape adventure.
No question: we all had a good time breaking out of Prison 13 and the 60 minutes flew by like nothing. In terms of theme, fun and the possibility of competing in two teams, Prison 13 is a great choice for JGAs. All I can say is: marriage and prison are a humorous association that fits perfectly. But Prison 13 is also super playable for small teams and the breakout theme definitely provides tension and a developing story.
The puzzles and tasks are varied and coherent, and the challenge is not extraordinarily difficult. For experienced Escape Gamers, there are familiar puzzles, but there are also some nice new tasks that we haven’t come across before. For Escape Game newcomers, Prison 13 is probably not unmanageable, but it is definitely a challenge.
And how does the Escape Room compare to the others we have played so far? For Anika and me, this new Escape Room is in the upper midfield. Compared to the other two Escape Rooms we have already played with the same provider, I would place Prison 13 in the middle after Sherlock Holmes and before the liquor shop. However, that’s just my subjective opinion, because story and theme preferences are often the final deciding factors in successful Escape Rooms as to whether they get a place in the personal Olympus. Both Anika and I, for example, are big fans of particularly imaginative scenarios with a lot of story and unusual or even bombastic décor. Patrick, one of our fellow players, thought Prison 13 was really good and the best of the Escape Rooms he’s been to so far. He liked the fact that the scenario here was classic, the story reduced and the focus was on the tasks.
“Nice atmosphere through greeting, design and motto. Everything coherent with nice details. The competitive mode would have been exciting for sure.” Patrick, 28
Although Prison 13 is definitely possible for newcomers, I would recommend it more as an intermediate challenge for advanced players. Especially if you play it as a team-against-team competition, which certainly brings a special charm here. Basically, however, the Escape Room is suitable for everyone with the exception of claustrophobics.
In Prison 13, you actually have to escape and use your hands, feet and brain to do so. The classic Escape Game scenario in a prison is well implemented with a coherent atmosphere and moderately difficult tasks. A special extra: this Escape Room is available twice and you can compete against each other in 2 teams!
At Abenteuer Freundschaft there are many more recommendable things to do in Berlin to discover. But no matter where you are, Abenteuer Freundschaft also offers a wide range of tips for activities with friends, with your partner or activities with children. And if you want to search for Escape Games all over Germany, this comparison portal is a good help.
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Image source Cover photo: © Escape Berlin
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